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lthough anyone has his/her own opinion on religion, all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus of Nazareth really existed. However, there is still uncertainty on whether the Bible actually gives us an accurate description of his life or not.

Jesus Christ’s Life

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in 7/1 BC. After having been baptized by John the Baptist, he spent his life preaching, just like many other religious leaders of that time. Because of his ability to gather a great number of followers, and because of the content of his messages (that is, calls for peace and brotherhood, in particular among the poor), the Jewish authorities started to be afraid of him. As a consequence, he was handed over to the Roman government and eventually crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect of the region. Therefore, Jesus died in Jerusalem in 26/36 AD. Since Jesus’ followers believed that he had risen from the dead, they started to spread his message, creating the early Church.

Ecce Homo! (Behold the Man!) — Antonio Ciseri — 1860–1880 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A Theory According to Which Jesus Moved to Japan

That was the story we all know. However, there is also another perspective. In particular, there is a myth according to which the man that died on the cross at Golgotha was not Jesus but his younger brother Isukiri. Jesus, instead, fled across Siberia to Mutsu Province, in northern Japan. Once there, he changed his name to Torai Tora Daitenku. The theory holds that Jesus became a rice farmer. Moreover, he also married a twenty-year-old Japanese woman called Miyuko and raised three daughters near what is now Shingō. In Shingō, he died aged one hundred and six. Jesus’ bones were collected and buried in the pit which is believed to be the grave of Torai Tora Daitenku, Jesus Christ.

Shingō, Japan

In Shingō, there is also another grave, near the alleged grave of Jesus Christ, which is said to contain an ear of Isukiri, Jesus’ brother, and a lock of hair from Mary, Jesus’ mother. A sign placed near Jesus’ alleged grave describes the entire story:

“When Jesus Christ was 21 years old, he came to Japan and pursued knowledge of divinity for 12 years. He went back to Judea at age 33 and engaged in his mission. However, at that time, people in Judea would not accept Christ’s preaching. Instead, they arrested him and tried to crucify him on a cross. His younger brother, Isukiri casually took Christ’s place and ended his life on the cross. Christ, who escaped the crucifixion, went through the ups and downs of travel, and again came to Japan. He settled right here in what is now called Herai Village, and died at the age of 106. On this holy ground, there is dedicated a burial mound on the right to deify Christ, and a grave on the left to deify Isukiri. The above description was given in a testament by Jesus Christ.”

Crosses mark site (Shingō) said to be the grave of Christ and his brother (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Every year 20,000 pilgrims and pagans visit the place. But where does this theory come from? The claims started in 1933, when some ancient Hebrew documents about Jesus’ life and death in Japan were discovered. Those documents were supposedly the testament of Jesus. The documents were allegedly seized by the Japanese authorities and transferred to Tokyo shortly before World War II. Needless to say, those documents got lost.

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